BENGALURU: After high speculations regarding the winner by exit polls, the results of Karnataka polls were announced on Tuesday. As the counting closed and the BJP falling short of a majority, all the three main parties – the BJP, Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) rushed to the Governor’s residence to stake claim to form a new government.
Congress has reportedly made an open, unconditional offer to HD Deve Gowda’s JD(S) for backing the regional party and making HD Kumaraswamy the chief minister. Outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy spoke to the media after the meeting with the Governor. “The AICC has decided to support JDS. JDS will form government with the help of Congress,” said Siddaramaiah. BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa also met the governor, saying he must call the single largest party.
Earlier on Tuesday, celebrations were seen at the BJP offices in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Delhi and other places. BJP workers cheered, burst crackers and chanted “Modi Modi” as they monitored the numbers of giant TV screens. For the election results, votes were counted for 222 of the 224 assembly seats from 8 am. 72.36 per cent of the five crore eligible voters in Karnataka had cast their votes on Saturday.
On Sunday, Mr Siddaramaiah had said while he is willing to stay on as the chief minister for another term, he would step aside for a Dalit candidate if the party high command so desires. The JDS has said it is the Congress’s “responsibility” to reach out if it does not get a majority today.
All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP, the single largest winner of seats, to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member assembly.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the governor is bound under the Constitution and legal provisions to invite their coalition to form the government in the state. “We expect Karnataka governor to invite JD (S)-Cong coalition which has clear majority to form government in the state. As per constitutional and legal provisions, the governor has no option but to invite the coalition,” he said.